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Old 01-17-2013, 07:50 PM   #1
NoMoIke OP
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Bumbling Through Life on a Motorscooter

1/16/13

So far I've managed to pack my towel. As nice as it is, as functional as it is, there are a few more things that I'll need to outfit for a trip with no foreseeable ending. There will surely be occasions where I'll need more than the clothes on my back, not to mention shelter and a computer to write these posts on. At some point the shine may wear off of adding more miles to the odometer, stowing something on which to read a book, headphones and my smartphone are in order. This...and that...and the one thing over there...



When my luggage arrived in five huge boxes last month I was appalled at their cavernous size. Was one really expected to lug around 105 liters of shit on their mind clearing, I'm going to appreciate life again, minimalist adventure? I've spent a lot of time around the Mississippi river and I was sure that the bike was going to handle like so many of the other pontoon boats inchworming along at 14 miles per hour up and down the Big Muddy. Where was I going to come up with a muumuu clad wife and a few li'l Ikes that refuse to take their shirts off to go swimming on short notice?

Today is my wake up call. Shock therapy. A quick bash over the head with a beer bottle to liven up the senses. Maybe my mind saw the luggage as 105 gallons, and maybe the real size is 105 liters, but in practice the capacity actually seems to be 105 cups. Is this the challenge I signed up for? Riding Copper Canyon!...the wilds of Alaska!...126 liters of indispensability in 105 liters of space?

On top of that, I'm positive that I've not accounted for everything that I really will need, and therefore I must leave some contingency space.

...and it must be done in the next 25 hours and 37 minutes.

NoMoIke screwed with this post 01-26-2013 at 11:53 AM
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:34 AM   #2
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Which way did he go? 1/17/13

I picked a hell of a day to leave. It’s been sprinkling for the last few days in Charlotte, NC and my expectation was that it would continue to do so today, I expected nothing more than a light rain.



My single day plan was to head southeast towards the coast of South Carolina and the Francis Marion National Forest for some camping with my brand spanking new camping gear. I stopped at REI and picked up a tent and footprint, sleeping bag, compression sack, and a MSR Whisperlite Universal camp stove. I hadn’t camped since I was about 12 years old with the exception of a week in the woods for basic training. My time in the Army was 19 years ago so I didn’t really expect to remember anything I learned there.



Much to my chagrin, Mother Nature had a different plan. I rode for a few hours in the pouring rain until my waterproof gloves and Frog Togs finally gave up the fight. With soaked gloves and a chilly finger of water creeping its way to places really uncomfortable, I reluctantly pulled into a Days Inn in Florence, SC. I really wanted to camp, but doing it in the early dark and pouring rain didn’t seem like a good choice.


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NoMoIke screwed with this post 01-19-2013 at 06:57 AM
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:00 AM   #3
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Safe Travels!!
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:16 AM   #4
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:17 PM   #5
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Ready to read this report. Bring it on.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:27 PM   #6
OtterChaos
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Good start, I'll be following along.
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:40 PM   #7
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Going Mental

1/18/13

How does one come to the decision to just pack/sell/give away everything and just go ride? I’ve read a ton of ride reports of people doing the exact same thing and most make it seem so easy. Obviously there needs to be something deep down inside pushing you away from a normal life or something luring you out to the open road, but we as humans are also hard wired for stability and security. I’ve noticed that there is usually a trigger involved, such as the loss of a career or a family tragedy like Radioman.


My former office.

I definitely have the need to wander, I’ve been an over the road truck driver since 1996 and it gets in your blood. I passed through the last of the lower 48 states by the time I was 22 years old, driven every inch of interstate and a good portion of every U.S. highway in the country, and managed to rack up over 2 million miles without killing myself. That being said… During that time I have always had shelter, a bed, and food and water available 24/7, for the last six years I owned a truck with a shower and toilet.

Earlier in 2012 my trigger arrived. My brilliant, wonderful Brown Gram shuffled off this mortal coil, heart failure. For a significant portion of my life she was the one responsible for making sure to add three times the amount of water to my Similac, the correct amount, than my mother would. Thanks to Brown Gram I’m still quite a ways under three bills and I can even manage to swing my leg, David Lee Roth style, over my Corbin. *30 inch inseam, 32 inch seat height.


Very multi-cultural. Obviously this was during her
U2 phase, but instead of a good stout she's got Corona.

Anyway, my point with this whole thing was that while I really am into doing this perpetual ride, I’m finding a bit difficult to get into the swing of things regarding actual camping. I’m in a hotel in Moncks Corner, SC.

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NoMoIke screwed with this post 01-29-2013 at 01:49 PM Reason: Edutud fer speling and klarity.
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:35 PM   #8
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Hang in there. It does suck to have to camp in the rain. Pick a good day for that first time and you'll likely remember camping as a positive thing. You're going to have lots more opportunities to camp. Looking forward to reading your ride report as it develops. Sorry you lost Brown Gram, but I've a feeling she's with you in spirit, eh?
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:52 PM   #9
NoMoIke OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blader54 View Post
Sorry you lost Brown Gram, but I've a feeling she's with you in spirit, eh?
Thanks, she's definitely here in spirit, as well as in "body". I plan to stop in Florence, AL and reunite her with husband. I'll also bring a portion of her ashes home to Nome, AK.

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Old 01-21-2013, 03:59 AM   #10
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Looks like you are headed in the right direction at the right time of year in the right frame of mind. Write On! And pics.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:03 AM   #11
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Rampant Consumerism

1/19/13

I should preface this post by saying that I’m not against consumerism. I’ve eaten my share of $130 steaks and equally spendy slabs of raw tuna so you know I’m no hippee spewing vitriol about the evils of incorporation maaaaaan! I’m just in the mood for something different.

Jesus, I did it again! I have nothing against hippees. They’re fun.

…and again. I have no problem with anyone’s belief, or lack thereof, in Jesus.



Rampant Consumerism

The last large town I passed through yesterday was Myrtle Beach. To my amazement, even in winter time there are tons of people here eating, shopping, consuming. I suppose that I should have known better, if you know the name of a place that’s more than 100 miles from your house and it’s not from Discovery or The History Channel chances are that it’s a tourist hotspot.

Glitz and lights and the oddities of any modern city are a real testament to man and his creativity and capabilities. Sights like this Ferris Wheel, the Bellagio Fountains, the Sears Tower (or whatever the fuck they call it now), and pretty much everything in Los Angeles deserve to be admired and awed over, but for me it can get to be sensory overload. Sometimes a dood just needs to get away from all that in order to, not only to experience natural wonders, but to regain appreciation for the conveniences of modern life. That’s where I’m at.



They’re raping Mother Nature, MAAAAAAAN!


Wouldya help me get this into my van?

On the other extreme… I have this recurring daymare that I feel like I need to beware of. I’m not too shabby at holding a conversation, but I have some trepidation about actually starting a conversation with a stranger. My appearance doesn’t really help the situation, either. I’m not exactly approachable. Because of my travels there have been many occasions where I would’t see anyone I actually knew for weeks at a time, and sometimes during these trips there have been multiple days in a row where I’ve not actually spoken to a single person. I can see myself going 3/4 Unabomber. A 10 by 10 cabin out in the wilds of Utah or Arizona, wiling myself into days of beard growing, manifesto writing, and subsisting on a steady diet of cat food and bugs. I’d only be 3/4 Unabomber because I could never actually build a pipe bomb or hurt anyone.

I had pretty much the same experience today with Hilton Head Island and Historic Downtown Savannah. All very nice, but I’m moving at a different speed at the moment. I did manage to snap a few pics of the Intercoastal Waterway at Hilton Head.

Camping in Savannah is just as pricey as the Days Inn at Richmond Hill sooooo…



ICW at Hilton Head


ICW at Hilton Head


I didn’t see any fish, but…


…are these Clams or Oysters, or what? (grew up land locked)


I HATE when this happens.


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Old 01-22-2013, 02:12 PM   #12
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Grizzly Adams, Les Stroud, Bear Grylls, and NoMoIke...

1/20/13

If you took all of those fellows, picked their heaviest and bluntest sponsored camping gear, and smashed them together, theyíd still be better campers than I am. They do, however, have the benefit of experience.

It was a glorious day for riding, the temperature was perfect in the sixties, the sun was not threatened by a single cloud, and my Zumo seemed to be picking the roads with the most curves and least amount of traffic. Iíve heard that some find Corbin seats to be a bit too firm, but I find mine perfect and I just didnít want to get out of it today. 198 miles just didnít seem to be enough!

Another 200 miles wouldnít have been out of the question, but seeing as I was in a really positive frame of mind I decided to break my camping cherry. After a quick run through of REIís Half Dome 2 Plus instructions and 15 minutes of orientation my home for the night was secure and standing on its own. Not quite Bob Vila building a twin to the Biltmore out of reclaimed barn wood and a sharpened spoon, but Iím pretty proud.

There were a few hiccups at that point. I didnít bring any water. The fire pit was enticing, but is going unused because I neglected to bring anything to cut up any wood or any form of kindling. If Tom Hanks could do it on a deserted island, Iím sure I could manage to get a fire going if my life depended on it, but my life doesnít depend on it and I wanted to finish my day relaxing. Iíll be sure to remedy these shortcomings before my next night in the sticks.



A proud family.


My Campground Greeter


Glad I bought these MSR bottles. I really need to pay more attention to my fuel gauge!


Most of the comforts...


The river near my single serving home


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Old 01-22-2013, 04:22 PM   #13
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Happy camping.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:45 AM   #14
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I seemed to have misplaced my balls.

1/21/13

I have to admit that I was a bit concerned about personal security while sleeping in my tent. *After 16 years of spending the night in high crime areas like Gary, IN, Compton, CA, and West Memphis, AR my crime detection sensors may need some calibration. *Until I actually fell asleep, every bit of rustling wind had to be a group of miscreants drooling over my...what? *Broken phone? *Camp stove? *Maybe my laptop. *I was the least worried about my motorcycle. *I figure that even if someone tried to make off with it they'd probably fall over just trying to get it out of the gravel. *I still slept with the rain fly open.

After justifying to myself that I could safely fall asleep it became pretty clear that my 15 degree sleeping bag wasn't going to cut it at 30. *I'm not sure that it was the bags fault. *What is one supposed to wear to sleep while camping? *After I donned my riding pants I was much more comfortable and managed to wander off to the land of slumber in short order. *For the rest of the night I was quite comfortable with the exception of my feet. *Add a pair of heavy socks to the list along with a hatchet.

Waking up was a different story. *It got down to about 25 degrees while I was cocooned in my North Face bag and the first unzip was bound to be a shock. *I wasn't really surprised that slipping on my boots felt like I was doing the polar plunge, but I was amazed that I could actually hear*my man bits shrinking. *A quick stowing of my gear and a speedy exfiltration to anywhere with hot coffee was in order.

As far as riding today... *My first stop was at Keel Brothers in Lawrenceville, GA. *My bike is a 2010 BMW F650GS with 10,500 miles on the clock. *It came off the showroom floor with Metzler Tourance EXPs, and still had a bit of tread on the rear. *I'm not exactly sure what happened to the front, maybe the previous owner left it out in the sun, but it had a lot of cracking in the rubber. *While it wasn't cheap, at $408 mounted and balanced, I bit the bullet and replaced them both with new Metzler Tourance (non EXP) tires. *These are slightly more dirt capable at 85/15 compared to the EXPs 95/5. *I couldn't tell a difference looking at them. *If I can squeeze anywhere near the same amount of miles out of these as the previous set I'll be a happy camper.

After another 100 miles or so it's time for a hot shower and bed at the Days Inn of Centre, AL.

Sorry, a bit lite on the pics today.



Violet Beauregard gets new shoes.
How many of you name your bikes?



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Old 01-25-2013, 01:29 PM   #15
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Trans Alabama

1/22/13

I must have the memory of a goldfish. Every time I pass through northern Alabama I'm (re)amazed at the number of elevation changes. I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise, this is the southern buildup of the Appalachain Mountains that continue from here through Georgia, Tennessee, the Virginias, and on through the rest of the eastern seaboard.


I wish I could've taken a pic from the other side of these waterfalls.

The area does offer great riding if you don't attempt it when it's 35 degrees or when the temperatures and humidity make you feel like you're a captive in a bath house. Set out on an March or October day and you will be greatly rewarded with lush forests, moderate elevation changes, and those oh so important twists and turns. If M. Knight Shamalan got his inspiration from motorcycle roads these would be on the list of frequent haunts (ew).


I've seen a crane and a pair of cranes, but I've never seen a flock of cranes.

On a practical note... I'm trying to get my technique down concerning carrying my camera in a ready position. For the moment the strap goes around my neck and the camera body sits on the tank bag. It isn't really a bad arrangement now that I think about it, maybe it has more to do with my (un)conciousness of potential good scenes to snap. The camera itself is a marvel of technology. Sony and a few other manufacturers began building what the industry calls compact system cameras a few years back. They take a point and shoot sized body and mate it with a full DSLR sized sensor for great low light shots, and interchangeable lenses. The resulting package is mid way between a point and shoot and a DSLR. Ansel Adams I'll never be, but this thing gets me just a bit closer.


A crappy pic of a lake.


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